Friday, May 3, 2013

Clothes Inna Matchbox - Dk Stewart Sextet

This all-star Portland quartet (plus horns) infuses classic cuts, obscure nuggets and DK Stewart originals with a fresh take on the blues, New Orleans funk and R&B... Stewart, whose two-fisted stride blues and jazz piano style has been a driving force behind such Northwest blues giants as Robert Cray, Paul deLay and Curtis Salgado often works as a compelling solo vocalist/performer with only a piano for back-up...In addition he has, for the past several years been tearing up major festival stages with his latest creation, the DK Stewart SEXTET. The band features the "Soul Survivor Horns" that includ Chris Mercer on sax and Joe McCarthy on Trumpet. Stewart serves up an evening of uptempo, jump-blues and traditional swing with material by Nat Cole, Charles Brown and T-Bone Walker along with hard-grooving New Orleans funk by Professor Longhair, Clifton Chenier and the Meters. The band also brings hard-core, stinging Chicago blues to their set with songs written by Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Magic Sam; along with Stewart's own soulful, compelling originals... In 2012 Chris Mercer and DK Stewart collaborated to create the "Tell Momma" Etta James Tribute, a collection of some of the NW's finest female volcalists assembled into an evening of introspective appreciation of the late Etta James' material. Featuring the Dk Stewart Sextet with the addition of percussionist Bobby Torres and guitar master Chris Carlson, the band produced an amazingly fine "live' performance at the Alberta Rose Theater in April of 2012. Singers Duffy Bishop, LaRhonda Steele, Lisa Mann, Rae Gordon and Amy Keys bring their best to this performance before a sold-out crowd and are filmed using state of the art HD video and a 32 channel digital-audio console by Rex recording. This CD has propelled the band into the regional if not national spotlight this year and brings a world focus on the tremndously talented pool of artists that due reside and thrive throughout the northwest, in spite of not being near more nationally recognized music scenes. Stewart has performed with such blues legends as Big Walter Horton, S.P. Leary, Hubert Sumlin, Sunnyland Slim, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, James Cotton, Albert Collins, George "Harmonica" Smith, Joe Louis Walker, and Roomful of Blues, and has appeared on bills with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Junior Walker, Clifton Chenier, Ray Charles, Paul Butterfield, and BB King. Stewart's keyboard virtuosity can be heard on recordings by Robert Cray, Paul deLay, Curtis Salgado, Lloyd Jones, The NW Ray Charles Tribute and on his own three solo projects, featured at CD Baby including the band's latest releases, ""live In Olympia" and "For The Troops". The latter recording features extra bonus tracks and proceeds go directly to the USO to support the families of deployed service members overseas. As a band leader and a featured sideman, Stewart has appeared at major blues venues throughout the US, including Portland's Waterfront Blues Festival, the San Francisco Blues Festival, New York Rhythm & Blues Festival, The Texas T-Bone Walker Festival, Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival, Winthrop Blues Festival, Mt. Baker Blues Festival, and the Legendary R&B Cruise. .. Stewart also presents a stripped-down version of this same music format with less emphasis on big-stage production with former Lloyd Jones and Paul deLay drummer/percussionist Mike Klobas and the amazing Joseph Conrad on stand-up and fretless bass, recently with the band "Rhythm Culture". Original materials are also featured in this ensemble. Guests of the 3-DK Trio Plus One include the very exciting tenor sazophone work of Tim Jensen, guitarists Peter Dammann and William Chapin and recently harmonica soloist Tim O'Hare.  

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